Be cautious of people going door to door asking about resident’s alarm systems, as they do not appear to be working for the city and could be casing homes for burglaries.
Oakland Police warned that a community member reported that a man wearing an orange safety vest and a tag reading “Oakland Public Safety” knocked on her door inquiring about how up to date the resident’s alarm system was. The man also asked whether or not it was monitored and whether it was tied to a cell phone or landline.
The Redwood City Police are not aware of any city-sponsored program making this sort of inquiry, it is likely that the questions were aimed at gathering information for criminal use. Criminals usually use these tactics to case the house and attempt to find ways to defeat alarm systems.
Residents should not answer any questions about home alarm systems, and should report anyone asking similar questions to police immediately.
Another consumer rip-off that shows no sign of abating is the invasion of door-to-door salespeople who use dubious and intrusive tactics to sell burglar-alarm systems to unwary homeowners.
Law-enforcement and consumer-protection officials warn you to be wary of an alarm salesperson who:
• Attempts to alarm you by citing rashes of burglaries in their neighborhoods.
• Claims to represent or wear clothing with logos from major alarm manufacturers like GE and Honeywell. These firms don't sell directly to consumers and don't allow their logos to be used by door-to-door salespeople.
• Tries to gain entrance into your home
• Offers a free system. Experts say "free" systems usually come with higher monthly service fees.
• Says the company is ready to install your system right away. Experts say legitimate alarm companies don't mind taking the time to talk to consumers to get a comprehensive view of their security needs.
• Claims your current alarm company is defunct.
Non-emergency calls can be made to (650)780-7100, or dial 911 for emergencies.